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Nora McKinnon


Nora McKinnon is a queer, inter-disciplinary artist and poet based in Oakland, California. They utilize letterpress printing and innovative hand-bound structures to create books that address imperialism, surveillance, and gender. Currently a candidate for an MFA in Book Art and Poetry from Mills College, they received their BA in Printmaking and Gender Studies from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. This summer they are working on their upcoming thesis exhibition, opening in November of 2016 at Aggregate Space Gallery in Oakland. Under the title “An Introduction to the Hyper-Scape,” their thesis regards the palm tree and the California coast as objects to be unpacked and re-examined as symbols of colonialism, consumer culture, and hyperreality. Taking the form of a series of large scale, single folio pop-up books letterpress printed using 4-color separation process techniques from polymer plates, these books recontextualize the mythology of the “golden coast” as a mechanism of imperialism. McKinnon’s work has previously appeared in the 2016 CBAA Conference Member Exhibition in Nashville, as well as at the 2015 Sheffield International Artist’s Book Exhibition.


An Introduction to the Hyper-Palm

Digitally printed artist’s book, tinted vinyl cover and pop-up center fold.

Dimensions: 8 x 10” 26 pages.

Edition of 6. December 2015. 

This book is an introduction to the palm tree as hyper-symbol in California’s past and present landscape. Created as part satirical guide, part poetic exploration of the construction of myth, the book contains a pop-up centerfold of a palm tree. 


Letterpress and digitally printed artist’s book with Mylar insets.  

Dimensions: 7x8” 12 pages.

Edition of 5. May 2015. 

Dazzle Camouflage is a technique that uses contrasting patterns to disrupt visual recognition. Applying this concept to my own face in order to combat facial recognition software, I first letterpress printed images of myself using 4-color separation process printing on polymer plates. I next took 5 facial - disruption dazzle designs and reduced them to simple shapes, which I cut out of the images of my face, and filled with reflective mylar. This book is about movement, and the constant tension of desiring to not be seen in a world saturated with cameras. 

Glass City – Brick City

Digitally printed accordion structure artist’s book.

Dimensions: 4x6” 8 panels, double-sided.

Edition unique. April 2015. 

This book was created with images of downtown Oakland I photographed over the course of 4 weeks, then collaged digitally, printed out, and assembled into an accordion structure. Both sides contain content – one depicts the “glass city” – shiny skyscrapers and reflective walls. The other is the brick city, warehouses, peeling paint, buildings that have not yet been remodeled. 

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